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Aarju Pandey

HIKE

I’m from…

I’m from Palmolive dish soap and colorful hot cases
from the bushes outside the house and the exotic garden
I’m from the beautiful and bright marigolds
from the tulsi plant and green chili peppers

I’m from aromatic rice and vegetables
and the bamboo shoots sizzling in the kitchen
I’m from the silver anklets I wore when I was small
and the holy Hindu scriptures
I’m from the many valiant gods I worship
a Brahmin family is where I’m from

I’m from Christmas presents and thanksgiving turkey
Dashain traditions and Tihar celebrations
I’m from Kathmandu city and the snowy peaks of Mt. Everest
the roads of Dhading and the mighty river Bagmati
I’m from Harvard Square and Lexington Center
from the beautiful Maligaon and the pretty little hut in Kanakot

I’m from the smell of Nepali spices
from “I am proud of you” and “try harder next time”
I’m from those who fell before I rose
those whose noble deeds still run in my blood